Budapest: Five Things not to Miss

The Parliament, Inside and Out

Budapest’s most prominent building really is an architectural masterpiece and you realize it even more when standing next to it! Impressive from the outside without any doubts, don’t skip the guided tour to see it from inside as well. The official tour is organized in many languages and short enough to enjoy the beautiful interiors without getting bored (book you tickets here). Highlights include the grandiloquent main staircase, the dome which is home to the guarded Holy Crown of Hungary (no photos allowed in that part of the building), the magnificent Assembly Hall and the famous numbered cigar holders. No smoking allowed nowadays but those have been kept because of their historical value. You will learn that when they were in use, the interest of a hearing could be measured by the amount of Havanas left consuming on them…

Parliament Building, Budapest
Parliament Building

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Belmond das Cataratas: the Best Hotel in Iguazu

Iguazu is one of those places where it’s easy to choose your accommodation. Not too many options, and one that’s stands out from the rest: the Belmond das Cataratas. Located on the Brazilian side and within the national park, you get privileged access to the falls before the park opens to the public. Keeping in mind how crowded the falls can get during the day, that’s a very big plus. Don’t bother booking a guided tour of the falls though, it’s unnecessary. Unlike the Argentinian side where you have to choose from many different paths, on the Brazilian side there is only one easy and clearly marked path that starts right in front of the hotel. In my next article I will debate the pros and cons of each side of the falls. But for now let’s focus on the hotel itself.

What I liked:

  • the location right in front of the falls and within the national park
  • the amazing pool (especially at night)
  • the hotel’s very nice tropical garden and its beautiful birds
  • the great breakfast on the poolside (and caipirinhas a bit later)
  • that feeling of serenity and loneliness right next to a highly touristic attraction

What I disliked:

  • the somehow old-fashioned and not so over-the-top rooms (nice bathrooms though)
  • a strange moldy smell in the rooms…!
  • the lack of signalization in the corridors (that place is huge and you get easily lost)
Deckchairs on the poolside, Belmond das Cataratas
Deckchairs on the poolside

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Duque Hotel: a Gem in Buenos Aires

Duque hotel in Buenos Aires may be the accommodation with best value for money I’ve ever been to. Located in the neighbourhood of Palermo, it’s a charmingly small and cozy boutique hotel. City center is easily reached with a metro ride.

What I liked

  • the intimate atmosphere
  • the lovely garden and sitting area around the pool
  • the beautiful entrance
  • the location in trendy and quiet Palermo
  • the friendly and smiling staff

What I didn’t like

  • for 130 USD per night, there really isn’t anything to complain about…!
Poolside, Duque hotel
Poolside

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Hotel Moresco in Venice

Cosy. Intimate. Perfectly located. Hotel Moresco is a great choice for a stay in Venice. The room rates are not cheap, but come with nice perks (welcome drink, happy hour with free buffet in the early evening, complimentary bottle of prosecco upon arrival, great breakfast…). And…it’s Venice! Piazzale Roma (car and train terminus) couldn’t be closer though you are located along a quiet canal, and it’s easy to walk everywhere from here (or take a vaporetto). Hotel Moresco’s style is very Venetian, old-fashioned in a certain way but not tacky. What I particularly liked is the comfy lobby and the spacious en-suite bathroom with nice lighting (I stayed in the Blacksmith room). In the coming days, stay tuned for an article about incredible Venice and other wonderful places I visited in Northern Italy!

Entrance, hotel Moresco
Entrance

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POD Camps Bay: Cool Accommodation in Cape Town

Like

  • Location: right next to the amazing Camps Bay beach
  • Style: sleek and modern design
  • Breakfast: high quality buffet with lots of fresh fruit!
  • Staff: nice and helpful
  • Private underground parking

Dislike

  • Private plunge pool: should definitely be heated…
  • View from the room: partial ocean view, but mainly facing an ugly building
  • Your own tree: they promise to plant a tree for you and send its GPS coordinates to you by e-mail after your stay, however nearly a year after my stay no coordinates received so far…
Room at POD Camps BayRoom at POD Camps Bay
Room at POD Camps Bay

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